25 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-17-17

  1. I haven’t followed the Bill Crosby trial at all. But it has been declared a mistrial.
    Like I said, I know nothing about it except:
    Cosby is 80 years old. What are they going to do if he was found guilty?
    The assaults, if they happened, occurred over 40 years ago.
    What has been happening to keep it so long?
    What happens to limits of liability?
    I haven’t heard any of the arguments, but something seems wrong.
    I can understand a mistrial.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “… Mr. Jones’s website, InfoWars, published audio of Ms. Kelly cajoling and flattering her interview subject as she tried to secure his cooperation for the segment. “I’m not looking to portray you as some boogeyman,” Ms. Kelly can be heard saying. Assurances of fair coverage are standard practice in television journalism, where anchors seeking access routinely present their intentions in the best possible light. NBC is standing by Ms. Kelly, urging viewers to withhold judgment until the segment airs.

    “But the firestorm has been an unwelcome surprise at the network. NBC is banking on Ms. Kelly, who is drawing a salary reported to be about $15 million, as its next flagship star. …”

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  3. Chas, I haven’t closely followed the Cosby trial either — sounds like they may choose to retry it (and he still has a civil lawsuit on his hands). The whole thing made be sad as someone who grew up with him (my mom was a huge fan of “I Spy” in the 1960s, he was one of the first African American TV stars portrayed in a positive light).

    In the ’70s and ’80s he was an entertainment mainstay, he always seemed pretty much above reproach. I suspect there’s some truth to the charges (as there are so many) — though it appeared the women, many of them aspiring actresses, were also trying to benefit from his, um, “mentoring” before later realizing what had happened to them.

    It’s also a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes goings on of the 1970s, especially, when the libertine attitudes of the decade before moved from theory to actual practicing lifestyle, led by the celebrity culture here in L.A. (often via the hideous “Playboy Mansion” anything-goes party mentality). Seems Cosby and so many others were caught up in all of that. So ugly now, but I’m sure to them it all seemed glamorous and “ok” at the time.

    It probably explains why the women didn’t come forward sooner, the shenanigans of the late 1960s & ’70s were commonplace among the entertainment celebrity class, Cosby was a huge (and beloved) star & they, at some level, stupidly (or at least naively) had placed themselves in a vulnerable position that backfired on them.

    It’s all very sad and I feel for the victims but also for Cosby & his family having to face the reality of that past now in such a public way. But at this point, I think a civil case makes the most sense legally for the victims.

    I’m sorry any of it happened. Broken people in a broken world. 😦

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  4. It seems to me that many victims of these kinds of things don’t come forward initially because they are afraid that their word will not be believed against the word of a famous, powerful man. Even many rape victims of ordinary rapists do not report it, because of the shame (which is really not theirs to bear) & fear.

    There was an episode of Law & Order years ago (when Michael Moriarty was still on) about a gynecologist who molested or raped some of his patients. It wasn’t until they had him gloating on the six o’clock news that his many victims came forward. That may be fiction, but I think it works that way in real life, too.

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  5. I think it also speaks to how a culture, when it goes off-track, can influence many people who normally might not have followed such a path. They become swept up and away in the zeitgeist, the “spirit of the age,” that seems so normal and acceptable in that context. Culture matters.

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  6. Kizzie, also in this case — assuming the facts are correct and that the women were drugged and even unconscious — their memories were hazy and distorted at best; perhaps leading them to question what really did happen (or not). Hard to press charges knowing your story isn’t even fully recalled in detail by you.

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  7. Cosby already damaged his family when he chose to engage in such behaviour. Sexual immorality is not something someone can keep nicely packaged in a box, it will impact other areas of a person’s life. A man who is lecherous would not have been able to hide that fact from his family; a wandering eye, a penchant for lewd remarks and dirty jokes while among friends and family, such things are constant evidence of what the man is really thinking. The record of powerful men in entertainment and media taking what they want goes back long before the 60s and 70s. The films of the 1920s and B-list films of the 30s, 40s and 50s portray that fact very frankly. Even some A list films such as ‘All About Eve’ make comment – as a young Marilyn Monroe portraying a girl trying to make it into acting shows in this scene:

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  8. Chas, the crime of sexual assault or abuse is the most difficult to prove. First, there is usually very little evidence. If it is immediately after a rape, there are rape kits that medical personnel can use to collect evidence (in the case of lesser sexual assaults, there isn’t even that kind of evidence) but not only are most victims too scared and ashamed at what has happened to get immediate medical attention, but also, even with medical evidence, unless the victim is a minor, it is still the victim’s word against the predator’s. Unless the predator is caught in the act and the victim found to be struggling against the attack, the predator can always claim that the act was consensual. If the predator is a powerful, well respected individual, with considerable standing in the wider community and the victim is unknown and powerless with no powerful friends, who is more likely to be believed?
    Imagine you are a starlet in the 1960s or 70s and you are given the opportunity to meet a man who can make or break your career – such meetings are common in the entertainment world, a sort of unofficial interview or audition. Then, you wake up, with no clear memory of what occurred, except you can tell you were tampered with physically. You are unknown, you are only starting your career. To whom are you going to go with your vague story? Women in the entertainment world are almost expected to be a bit promiscuous, so the police aren’t likely to take your story seriously and would just pass it off as you got a little too drunk and got more than you expected from your fling. Visiting a doctor costs money that you probably don’t have. The fact that so many of the women in that era are now coming forward to tell what it was like will make it easier for women now to stop the cycle. Cosby is bad, but he wasn’t the only one, not by a long shot – the case of entertainer Jimmy Savile in the UK during the same era is particularly egregious: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/jun/26/jimmy-savile-sexual-abuse-timeline

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  9. Older men taking advantage of younger women — who, in turn, are lured in by the promise of protection, power, success and/or money — is indeed as old as they come, and has an especially wicked twist in celebrity circles.

    Part of the problem that sets this all up is that men are attracted by beauty and the promise of sex — women attracted by the security found in an older man, especially those with any kind of social power.

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  10. I will say that Cosby ought to beware of looking as if he’s at all gloating in his narrow (so far) legal escape.

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  11. This is a slice of good news in an otherwise dreary situation. It is a reminder that regardless of how chaotic things look to us, God is still working his plans and using His people as His hands here in this amazingly beautiful, yet sadly broken, world. :–)

    A pastor in Syria is speaking out to note that, despite the tragic mass exodus of Christians in the Middle East, there’s a sizable number of Muslims and religious minorities in the region who are converting to the Christian faith.

    A man identified only as “Pastor Simon” told humanitarian group Open Doors USA that he feels God has called him to remain in Syria, despite the ongoing dangers that Christians face there.

    And while he and his family have been forced to move due to violence, he continues to work to help those in need.

    “God is moving and doing great things around us,” he told the organization.

    Many of the Christians living in his city have fled, dwindling from 900 at the start of the crisis to 310 today. More specifically, the number of evangelical families decreased from 25 to just three, according to Open Doors USA.

    Despite that negative development, Pastor Simon said that he has seen scores of people from Islamic and Druze backgrounds embrace the Bible……

    …The preacher also offered up some inspirational words — and a powerful reminder — for anyone in the midst of struggles.

    “God is in control, He controls everything. Sometimes he does this from behind a curtain; we don’t see Him working,” he said. “Time will come when we will understand that He was always there. What the Lord did in the past six years, he saved hundreds of thousands of Muslims in different countries.”

    http://www.faithwire.com/2017/06/15/god-is-moving-and-doing-great-things-massive-revival-in-syria-keeps-getting-stronger/

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  12. Kathaleena – I usually do trust the jury, but I’m not sure about this time. (And then there was the OJ Simpson trial back in the 90s.)

    I may be mistaken, but I thought I read that the jury had asked to read or see something again while in their deliberations, & the judge denied it. Sometimes a wrong verdict (it does happen) is due to mistakes (or outright deception) by the judge or prosecutor.

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  13. 12 seconds Karen. It’s nice that everyone gets to second guess things now, but that does nothing to clarify the situation for the officer in the 12 seconds that mattered. When the cop says take your hand away from the weapon you just told him you have, you won’t have long to do so before the officer responds with force to ensure you do.

    https://www.policeone.com/officer-shootings/articles/373042006-Minn-officer-acquitted-in-fatal-shooting-of-Philando-Castile/

    “Squad-car video played repeatedly for the jury shows a wide view of the traffic stop and the shooting, with the camera pointed toward Castile’s car. While it captures what was said between the two men and shows Yanez firing into the vehicle, it does not show what happened inside the car or what Yanez might have seen.

    The video shows the situation escalated quickly, with Yanez shooting Castile just seconds after Castile volunteered, “Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me.” Five of the officer’s seven shots struck Castile. Witnesses testified that the gun was in a pocket of Castile’s shorts when paramedics removed him from his vehicle.

    Prosecutors called several witnesses to try to show that Yanez never saw the gun and acted recklessly and unreasonably. But defense attorneys called their own witnesses to back up Yanez’s claim that he saw Castile pulling the gun and that Yanez was right to shoot.

    After shooting Castile, Yanez is heard on the squad-car video telling a supervisor variously that he didn’t know where Castile’s gun was, then that he told Castile to get his hand off it. Yanez testified, “What I meant by that was I didn’t know where the gun was up until I saw it in his right thigh area.”

    He said he clearly saw a gun and that Castile ignored his commands to stop pulling it out of his pocket. His voice choked with emotion as he talked of being “scared to death” and thinking of his wife and baby daughter in the split-second before he fired.

    Prosecutors argued that Yanez could have taken lesser steps, such as asking to see Castile’s hands or asking where the gun was. After Castile told the officer he had the gun, Yanez told Castile, “OK, don’t reach for it then,” and, “Don’t pull it out.”

    On the squad-car video, Castile can be heard saying, “I’m not pulling it out,” as Yanez opened fire. Prosecutors said Castile’s last words were, “I wasn’t reaching for it.”

    Reynolds testified that she began recording the shooting’s aftermath because she feared for her life and wanted to make sure the truth was known. Defense attorneys pointed to inconsistencies in several of her statements.

    Defense attorneys also argued that Castile was high on marijuana and said that affected his behavior. But a prosecution expert testified there’s no way to tell when Castile last smoked marijuana or whether he was high.”

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  14. Of course, there are wrong verdicts. There is also a lot of things printed that are not true on both sides. If someone has to make a decision in 10 seconds, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. If someone has shown racist tendencies or there are other reasons to doubt his truthfulness, that would be different.

    The police officer essentially lost his job. That is not as bad as losing a life. I am sorry someone lost his life. I am sorry for the child who was probably scared to death over the whole situation and not helped by the mom. I am sorry that police officers have to second guess in way too many situations.

    I do not know that the jury got it wrong, however.

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  15. What is so tragic about it is that the guy wasn’t going for his gun, said he wasn’t going for his gun, & the officer had asked him for his license (or registration or whatever), so he had to be reaching for that. If he hadn’t been honest about having a gun on him, the officer may not have noticed, & he’d be alive today.

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